Refugee Childcare Businesses
Childcare Business success stories of three women


Anna, a Russian-speaking refugee, had been running a childcare business for almost a decade before joining the Refugee Childcare Project in April 2014. Anna is extremely business savvy, and her childcare program has always attracted more applicants than she had the capacity to manage. Being business-orientated, Anna understood that this was an opportunity to grow her business and serve a larger number of local families. However, she was not sure how to make the necessary legal and systemic changes. The Refugee Childcare Project provided her with the necessary knowledge and skills to alter her program in order to accommodate more children.
Over the course of her participation in the program, Anna attended 36 different professional growth workshops, amounting to 111 hours of training. Part of her training included leading group activities and co-facilitating discussions. She also benefited from support group sessions conducted in Russian. With the help of the Refugee Childcare Project, Anna was able to develop and successfully implement a quality enhancement plan to expand her child care business. She now cares for almost double the number of children she cared for previously. She has been so successful that she moved her program out of her house and now runs a childcare center.


Natalia officially joined the Refugee Project in July 2014. Natalia had managed a childcare program for many years in her home country before migrating to the US. Because of her expertise in childcare she decided to start a childcare business in her new home of Sacramento. However, despite her experience and determination, she struggled with the language barrier, the unfamiliar and complicated licensing system, and a lack of capital. Luckily, she found out about the Refugee Childcare Project. The program, run by Opening Doors and Child Action, has provided her with the business development assistance, technical training, and capital infusion she needed to supplement her prior knowledge of the industry.
After attending workshops and receiving personalized business support, Natalia was able to open a child care business and successfully enroll 4 children. The Refugee Childcare Project helped her to create a marketing strategy, and she has become well-known in the community. Her hard work has led to a higher volume of applicants. However her success has not lead to complacency. She is constantly revaluating how to maintain a high quality of service and improve her business practices. Today, Natalia is the proud owner of a financially stable childcare business, and she has plans to expand her program to accommodate for a higher number of clients.


Nagham recently arrived in the United States as a refugee from Iraq. A native Arabic-speaker, Nagham speaks very little English. Because of this language barrier, Nagham could not imagine making anything of herself in the United States when she first arrived. Fortunately, she found the Refugee Childcare Project in 2015. With our support, training, and funding, Nagham started a small childcare program for local refugee children whose families are on welfare. She found the training on business marketing particularly helpful. Thinking formally about marketing and marketing strategies helped her understand the importance of a planned marketing effort.
She has continued to slowly and steadily build a small, but high quality and financially stable, childcare business. She and her family recently purchased a home, which will allow her to serve a greater number of clients. She is currently working on a plan to expand her business’ capacity and hopes to implement it in the near future. Instead of feeling isolated and useless, Nagham’s childcare business has empowered her to be an active and important member of her community.